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Friday, February 15, 2013


Selecting medications is not at all akin to choosing produce. There's no melon squeezing for one. We're not looking to avoid wilted or brown lettuce and we're not stealing small samples when we fill your prescriptions.
I understand, when buying OTC items, looking for the best date possible if it's an item you use only as needed or rather infrequently. Some people approach it like the Milk Lady in "Clerks", pulling out every bottle and placing them on the floor, hoping to find that one gallon that never expires. 
Prescription products are a bit different. Manufacturers make the products. They ship them to warehouses or wholesalers who rotate their inventory. They ship them to the pharmacy. If I order and receive a cream that expires in 9 months, I have to assume that's the best dating available. No, I will not call another pharmacy to check if their creams are fresher than mine. 
Itchy Lady: It's to treat an infection I have now. 
CP: So use it. 
IL: But I have recurring infections. Sometimes in the fall. Sometimes a year or two later. 
CP: Look, you're treating an active fungal infection that may or may not recur next fall. Let's focus on fixing that little problem right now. Instead of trying to find something that may be dated a month or two longer, how about you open up that tube and start using it now? We could also focus on figuring out what's causing it to recur and preventing it in the future. 
IL: But I don't want to have to pay again in a year or two. 
CP: And I don't want to shovel my driveway when it snows. My options are either to move (prevention) or shovel (active treatment) or do nothing (let it fester).

It's not just the creams that get people acting strange.
Had a customer ask us to fill her prescription while she watched. That meant grabbing the bottle off the shelf and counting the pills whilst in front of her. It's not as if we opened a bag of Doritos from the cupboard and pulled off the Chip Clip, risking them having gone stale. My top 100 drugs don't have enough time to get to know each other on shelf in a day, let alone to collect a mote of dust to dirty their labels.

Also had to keep a customer's eye drops and insulin in the coldest part of the fridge for her. She would place each bottle up to her cheek to ensure they were maintained at an appropriately cold enough temperature for her liking.

Nothing like that new prescription smell! 

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